The Duties section lists out the day-to-day responsibilities and activities for the job. The duties help the job seeker understand the type of work they’ll do and help them decide if the job is a good fit for them.

Lists the duties the applicant is expected to perform.

Required by USAJOBS


Required by policy



  • Use the position description and job analysis to help write the duties.
  • List each duty as a separate bullet.
  • Describe the day-to-day responsibilities of the job—be specific and include typical projects, resources or technologies that the job seeker will use.
  • Prioritize the duties—put the most important duties first.
  • Use action verbs to start each bullet, such as “lead” or “manage”. Refer to the Plainlanguage.gov list of simple words and phrases.
  • Use language the job seeker knows and be concise—simpler is better!
  • Avoid internal jargon and acronyms—if an acronym is necessary, spell it out the first time it’s used.
  • Capitalize the first word of each bullet and include punctuation at the end of each bulleted item.

Do Not

  • Make the duties section overwhelming—a list of 20 duties is too much. Instead, prioritize the most important duties.
  • Use dehumanizing terms like “incumbent” or “candidate”.
  • Repeat duties.

Myth: If using a standard position description, staffing specialists aren’t allowed to include specialized skills in the job announcement

Office of Personnel Management Policy

You can include specialized skills in your job announcement. Position descriptions outline the occupational series and grade level of a position in accordance with the Office of Personnel Management classification standards. Conducting a job analysis will help identify the critical competencies and define the specialized experience and skills needed to perform the work of the position. The staffing specialist and the hiring manager should collaborate to conduct a job analysis and use the results to develop the job announcement.


The job announcement should reflect the specific duties and requirements of a role. Providing specific detail about the job helps job seekers determine if they are qualified for a job and understand what the role entails. When a job seeker fully understands the position, they can make an informed decision about whether to apply.

Questions? Concerns?

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